2005 Honda S2000 – Sport Compact Car Magazine

15 Aug 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on 2005 Honda S2000 – Sport Compact Car Magazine
Nissan Laurel

Powersports’ Wild Time Attack S2000

Your retinas may be burning from the fierce sensory overload in front of you but rest assured that this track-bred Honda S2000 is no show chump. Caged and gutted, this Honda has appeared at Central Circuit’s VTEC Festival and has raced wheel-to-wheel in the Okayama Circuit Meister Cup.

The brain behind this project is Powersports, a tuning shop based in Kansai, Japan who also has a race-prepped 2.2-liter Prelude and AE86 Levin (Corolla to us). Their story began when a man named Shoji Yasugi started a racing team named Garage Yasugi in 1988. Following the establishment of his team’s reputation and, basking in the thriving motorsport scene, Yasugi took the next logical step and started Powersports back in 1992.

The rest, they say, is history.

This Honda, privately owned by Toshihiro Kojima, has evolved into Powersports’ current flagship racer and is now one of the most well known S2000s in Japan. This exclusive yellow orange pearl, named in the distinctly Japanglish Powersports Champion Color, is dedicated to a team member who lost his life in a tragic car accident. More radiant but still similar to the factory Honda Imola Orange Pearl paint, this unique tone was the most beloved color of their departed comrade.

Today, all of the vehicles crafted by Powersports are blessed with this brilliant hue.

At a glance, the first thing noticeable on the car, besides the paint, is the full armor of the Powerhouse Amuse GT1 body kit. This wide-stanced exterior treatment was designed in conjunction with Polyphony Digital (the people who brought you the video game Gran Turismo) and adds aerodynamic function along with the ability to fit bigger racing rubber than stock.

In a dream world devoid of bumps and driveways, we suppose that this bodywork could be used on a daily driven street car but we’d bet on cracked bumpers and chipped paint. When you consider the fact that this stripped track-only S2000 is also equipped with a Speedglass acrylic front windshield and lightweight Sunline Auto fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) doors, it’s obvious that the kit was chosen purely for its functional qualities. The front bumper was even smartly modified to fit the Powersports FRP intake duct and Mugen air intake, which helps feed cool air to the engine when at speed.

The hardtop and rear wing, both manufactured in-house, are just two of the many lightweight products on this S2000 made from pre-preg or dry carbon fiber. The hood and the trunk, also manufactured by Powersports, are crafted with a wet lay-up carbon technique and follow the factory shape almost exactly for a direct fit replacement. The strategically placed canards, on the rear bumpers, are also part of Powersports’ original product lineup, along with the custom titanium side-exit exhaust.

After it fires up, the subtle rasp of this Honda’s exhaust note, bouncing off the inner walls of the titanium piping is enough to make any VTEC junkie wonder what’s in store underneath.

As an earlier AP1-chassis model, this Honda’s stock F20C engine was re-built for higher output and, most importantly, more torque. The engine displacement is now at 2169cc, built using many OEM Honda components. The bottom end was rebuilt using custom 87.25mm oversized pistons (stock is 87.0mm), along with an F22C crankshaft and connecting rods.

With high revving engines requiring plenty of breathing focus on the head, a thorough head porting, re-cut valve seats, and an oversized throttle body all aid in directing the maximum volume of air to each of the cylinders. On top of that, Toda Racing A2 camshafts and strengthened valve springs perfect the rotational harmony of the head assembly. A handcrafted 4-1 stainless steel exhaust manifold, made by Crosspipe, carries the finally spent exhaust to the aforementioned titanium side exit pipe.

Much of Honda’s original engineering remains intact, simply because the design already comes superbly efficient from the factory. The cooling and lubrication systems, fuel injectors, and valves are all factory. The ECU is a factory Honda piece, reflashed to help this S2000 put out a claimed 310 whp at 8204rpm and 211 lb/ft of torque at 6356rpm as measured on a Dynapack hub-mounted dyno.

But, before you go and get all Internet-tough on us, remember that Japanese premium fuel is 100-octane and closer to our own race gas.

The absence of a long list of engine parts may not satisfy the expectations of the average mod-list heavy enthusiast (who lists floor mats as a modification), but let it be known that the most successful Japanese tuning shops are known to shatter course records with a machine equipped with as few modifications as possible. That feat in itself is considered to be a bragging right. On a serious racecar, every horsepower generated is taken into account and transmitted to the ground with efficiency as the main concern.

For track use, the S2000’s transmission was taken apart and modified with a secondary gear reduction ratio change from the AP1’s 1.160 to the AP2’s 1.208, effectively shortening all the gears. The overall transmission gear ratios were then shortened even further with the installation of a 4.5 final drive gear (stock is 4.1), which allows the S2000 to accelerate faster and climb through the revs faster down the straightway.

And that strange duct on the passenger’s side (remember, it’s from Japan) rear? It’s the air intake that feeds cool air down towards the Powersports differential cooler. With an automatic oil pump (switched with a thermostat) on the rear pumpkin of this car, the ATS carbon limited-slip differential is able to stay cool even during sustained racing.

Much of this Honda’s design, including the gearing, was specifically thought out to lay down a fast lap time at Central Circuit, Powersports’ home track.

A careful combination of Mugen dampers and custom specified Swift springs were put together after testing the variety of corners, straightaways, asphalt characteristics, and the overall course length of Central Circuit. After numerous outings, almost all of the suspension components have been swapped out for complete adjustment control. Front and rear spherical bearing Ikeya Formula upper arms enable the fine-tuning of the camber settings while every susceptible toe-control rod was converted into an adjustable spherical bearing link.

Various suspension mounting points on the chassis were strengthened with steel plates, along with spot welds applied to the surrounding areas. This isn’t even mentioning the chassis stiffness from the custom 16-point full roll cage. A modified ATL fuel cell, with an in-tank fuel pump from a C35 Nissan Laurel feeds a large volume surge tank, which helps prevent fuel starvation during high-g turns.

Producing more power from a small displacement, naturally aspirated engine can be difficult enough; stopping it consistently lap after lap is another task altogether. Powersports added two-piece 330mm front and two-piece 313mm slotted racing rotors for the rear. The custom StopTech 4-piston calipers sandwich Seido-ya RM550 carbon metallic brake pads, bringing the S2000 to a quick stop, despite any given velocity.

The 10.5-inch wide Enkei Racing RPF1 wheels are wrapped with ADVAN A048M 265/35/18 tires. With the dramatic Powerhouse Amuse body, there is still even more room to fit wide tires.

Kojima’s S2000, in the hands of Powersports, has become an ever-changing art form, both inside and out. The vehicle is a tangible masterpiece that represents the racing philosophy Yasugi has been preaching about since the beginning of his company. Don’t judge a book by its cover.

Honda S2000 (AP1)

Engine Code . F20C

Type . 2169cc inline-four, aluminum block and head, VTEC variable valve timing and lift

Internal Modifications . 0.25mm oversized pistons, F22C stock crankshaft and connecting rods, port polish, valve seat modification, and engine built by Powersports

Nissan Laurel

External Modifications . Powersports throttle body and titanium side-exit exhaust, Toda Racing A2 camshafts and valve springs, Mugen air intake, Crosspipe 4-1 stainless-steel exhaust manifold

Engine Management Modifications . Reflashed ECU, Nissan Laurel fuel pump, SARD fuel pressure regulator, ATL fuel cell

Drivetrain

Layout . Longitudinal front-engine, rear-wheel drive

Drivetrain Modifications . Exedy clutch, AP2 secondary gear reduction ratio, 4.5 final drive gear, ATS carbon limited-slip differential, Powersports differential cooler

Suspension

Front . Mugen adjustable dampers, 14kg/mm Swift springs, Ikeya Formula spherical bearing upper control arms, dropped tie-rod ends

Rear . Mugen adjustable dampers, 12kg/mm Swift springs, Ikeya Formula spherical bearing upper control arms, rear bumpsteer kit, welded chassis seams, support plates

Front . StopTech 330mm two-piece brake rotors, four-piston calipers, stainless-steel braided brake lines, Seido-ya RM550 carbon metallic pads

Body . Powerhouse Amuse GT1 body kit, Powersports carbon fiber hardtop, canards, and rear wing, FRP differential cooler intake, polycarbonate windows, Sunline Auto FRP doors, Speedglass polycarbonate windshield

Interior . 16-point custom roll cage, Recaro SPG driver’s bucket, Takata 6-point safety harness

Nissan Laurel
Nissan Laurel
Nissan Laurel
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